Representing the reuse of a building that sat vacant for 12 years, the Mays Family YMCA establishes a healthy-living-based, multigenerational community center in an area of San Antonio undergoing substantial growth in population and development. The facility also represents a first-time partnership between the YMCA of Greater San Antonio and the City of San Antonio Library System, working together to co-locate a branch library within this YMCA.
The design goal was to reimagine a 1990s big box supermarket while dealing with budget constraints. The programmatic goal was to develop a new model for both the library and the YMCA that incentivizes overlapping use and brings an underserved community together in one facility.
The resulting facility encompasses a broad array of functions. Clustered around a community “commons” — established as a meet-and-greet space — are two pools; an 11,000-square-foot, two-level fitness floor; a gymnasium; four group exercise studios; a child watch area; a community room and a teaching kitchen that provides healthy cooking classes.
A conscious effort was made to connect the user to the outdoors. Daylighting strategies, including skylights and windows throughout the building envelope keep energy consumption low.
Interiors were inspired by the new branded YMCA logo, a sprawling car-centric context and voluminous spaces. Diverse colors, materials and forms on the exterior help to draw attention to the new facility.